Hi hi! I am back sharing another recipe with my friends at Domino® Sugar today with these Golden Sugar Macarons with a Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling! These guys have a sweet, warming cream cheese filling, and the shells are sprinkled with extra Golden Sugar to give them a little extra sparkle and crunch on the outside of the shells. If you’ve been following along at home, (and by at home I mean on Instagram), I recently got a new oven, which has been a game changer for multiple reasons, the main one being that I can now see into the oven (!!), but another massive perk from my shiny new friend is that I can bake two trays of macarons at once! Very, very exciting.
I’ve been playing around with Domino® Golden Sugar in my kitchen for the last few weeks, and I’ve been loving how it performs. If you haven’t tried new Domino® Golden Sugar yet, it is a less processed alternative to white sugar that still works cup for cup in baking! It has the most beautiful golden colour, and a slight molasses hint in the flavouring. I’ve thrown it at a lot of things recently, including a couple of recipes which can be a little finicky, and they have come out amazingly! I started with these Salted Caramel Cream Puffs, but this week I put it to the ultimate test, with one of the more finicky recipes I know - French Macarons.
Macarons are known to be tricky wee things - make one change and the whole batch can turn wonky on you, so I figured that this would be a great test for the Golden Sugar, and it performed perfectly! The Golden Sugar gave the macaron shells a super pretty golden hue, and I sprinkled a little extra sugar on the top - the slightly coarser texture of cane sugar is perfect for giving the shells a sparkly finish. I just also love anything sugar coated.
I kept things pretty simple filling wise and went with one of my faves - a cream cheese buttercream. I added a teeny hint of cardamom just to give it a little warmth, and some vanilla bean, because that goes into everything I make. You can absolutely leave out the cardamom, but I loved how it tasted against the slightly tangy cream cheese and sweet crunchy shells.
A few wee tips:
All of my best macaron tips (there’s loads of them - I add to the doc every time I discover a new one) are in this post
You may be able to bake two sheets of macs at once - depending on your oven. My old one wouldn’t let me, but I just got a new oven and I did two trays at once no worries - just make sure you rotate them half way through. If you bake two, make sure you you use a spare sheet pan under each.
You can fill these with anything that you like! The Domino® Golden Sugar shells are essentially just ‘plain’ vanilla bean shells, so they would be perfect for pairing with almost any filling.
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling
- Makes about 24 -
Golden Sugar Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
160g Domino® Golden Sugar
Extra Domino® Golden Sugar for sprinkling on the shells
Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
170g cream cheese, cold
340g powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
- PROCESS -
GOLDEN SUGAR MACARON SHELLS
Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle.
Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the vanilla bean paste. Gradually add the Domino® Golden Sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture.
Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.
Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little flick of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.
Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly.
Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. Sprinkle the tops of the macarons with the Domino® Golden Sugar.
Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity.
About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Depending on your oven you may be able to bake two sheets of macarons at once, but start with one first and see how you go.
Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. If you are baking two sheets at once, switch over the top and bottom sheets half way through. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that!
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.
If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper.
Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use.
CARDAMOM CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese on high until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add powdered sugar, and mix on low to combine. Turn the mixer to high and beat for another 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste, salt, and cardamom, and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides and mix again briefly to ensure the mixture is even.
Transfer Cardamom cream cheese frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large french star tip (such as an ateco #866). Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size. Pipe a circle of buttercream on one half, and then sandwich with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Thank you so much to Domino Sugar for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.